Walter Parker responds to Hanson and Howe's article, extending their argument to everyday classroom practice. He focuses on a popular learning activity called Structured Academic Controversy (SAC). SAC is pertinent not only to civic learning objectives but also to traditional academic-content objectives. SAC is at once a discourse structure, a participation structure, and an instructional procedure; and it centers on Hanson and Howe’s autonomy-building fulcrum—exchanging reasons. At a key moment in SAC, students are invited to step out of an assigned role and to form their “own” position on the issue. Parker argues that SAC is one way to mobilize a school’s assets in the direction of democratically enlightened political engagement.

Response to Article

Jarrod S. Hanson and Ken Howe, The Potential for Deliberative Democratic Civic Education